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Noncommittal: A Prospective Glance 3

Feb 17 - Mar 12 2011

UB Art Gallery

Noncommittal: A Prospective Glance 3 is a group exhibition featuring three recent graduates from the Department of Visual Studies at the University at Buffalo: Erik Baker, Stephanie Carosa, and Jamie Major.

Spending most weekends at his fathers secluded rural home, Erik A. Baker would amuse himself by exercising his imagination and construction skills. Tinkering with an erector set, or crafting something from scrap parts in his workshop were not uncommon activities. For the exhibition at the UB Art Gallery, Baker has constructed Buffalo BrewBot, a fully functional, multifaceted and interactive custom beer-bottling machine. Based on user input, this semi-automated structure mixes custom home-brewed beer for the operator by adding user-selected ingredients and supplements. The machine will be in operation the night of the opening to provide beer for people 21 years or older. The user is able to see the bottling process as empty bottles are transported along a conveyor belt to each station of the machine, and delivered directly to the user for individual consumption. The Buffalo BrewBot satisfies consumer demand for a custom, personalized beverage, while also providing a visually entertaining demonstration of the mechanical, electrical, and robotic ingenuity that makes it possible, thus quenching curiosity, along with thirst.

Stephanie Carosa’s darkly expressionistic paintings are informed by her interest in sociology and human behavior. Fascinated by how the mind works, she mines the psychological underpinnings of the irrational behavior and paranoia exhibited by individuals swept up in mass hysteria. In her humorous portrayal of the recent H1N1 strain of influenza (otherwise known as swine flu), for instance, she explores how humans react to fear by depicting pig-children gleefully dancing. In another painting, Are We Sterile Yet (2010), a man emerges from a pitch-black background, desperately clutching a mask to his face in an updated take on Edvard Munch’s The Scream (1893).   

 A family of four is seen posing for the camera. A woman walking down the street is about to be engulfed by a hulking shadow. Working with photographs one might find in an antique shop, Jamie Major distorts these prosaic images by blurring the scenes and faces while keeping other details in focus. Major scanned these vintage photographs and represented them at angles as if they were freefalling into space.  A delicately braided rope is attached to each, alluding to the precarious grip that people who look at photographs have on their memories. Viewers are encouraged to establish a rapport with these anonymous photographs either by directly identifying with them or fabricating fictions.

Organized by the UB Art Galleries and the Department of Visual Studies.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue featuring an essay by Roksana Filipowsko, a graduate student in the Department of Visual Studies with art history concentration.